On 1-2 September, nearly 30 UNRISD stakeholders gathered in Geneva to discuss future priorities for the Institute and the directions for research for the post-2015 period. The participants included representatives of national donor agencies, national governments, United Nations agencies and civil society, as well as members of the UNRISD Board and staff. As users of UNRISD research the stakeholders were invited to provide the Institute with their input on current global development challenges, the demand for policy relevant research on social development, and UNRISD’s role and contribution within this.
The meeting was opened with a video address
from the Director-General (a.i.) of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), Michael Møller, in which he emphasized how the UN family relies on UNRISD for "fresh, critical thinking and evidence-based analysis" in order to frame innovative policies. There was also a written statement
from Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, in which he expressed his support and highlighted UNRISD’s capacity to recognize the changing nature of the development landscape to which social policy must adapt: "This strength is a crucial resource that can help the UN system become more agile and responsive."
The discussions at the meeting provided UNRISD with useful insights from donor organizations and other users of UNRISD research on their current priority themes and concerns, which included combatting inequalities and financing development beyond aid, as well as many innovative ideas for fundraising. The meeting also served the purpose of bringing different donors together to reflect on potential joint strategies for supporting UNRISD.
Moving forward, the input from the discussions will prove extremely useful to UNRISD as it prepares a new Research Agenda for the future and develops an associated funding strategy.